Science meets art during a free five-day festival

World Science Festival
A composer and climate change scientist have joined forces to create a kinetic sound sculpture. Image: Shutterstock

A musician and scientist are getting their STEAM on during Brisbane’s World Science Festival

Think if you’re STEM-minded you can’t get your creative on? Nope! Gone are the days when art and science were treated as total opposites, as employers rate transdisciplinary thinkers fluent in both.

World Science Festival is physical proof that science and art can successfully team up. This March (9-13) Brisbane will be decked out with interactive art and science installations while hosting engaging conversations with leading scientists and experts. 

The free, ticketed five-day event has an awesome STEM-heavy line-up. And up there with our top, program picks? A particularly cool STEAM project spearheaded by an experimental musician and a climate change scientist.

The sound of science

Composer and experimental musician Erik Griswold and climate change social scientist Rebecca Cunningham have teamed up to create Sounding Tides – a kinetic sound sculpture that asks a pretty important question, “Can we hear the climate changing?”

With their combined artistic, intuitive and solution-seeking minds they’ll be presenting 40 years of scientific data in a seriously unique and multi-sensory way. Think of it like an interactive musical composition that doubles as legit scientific research! 

To mimic the repeating cycles of the tides, the duo have created hypnotic and meditative musical textures with sine waves and white noise generators, accompanied by sampled piano. An interactive app enables participants to explore and mix the sonified data in their own way too!

More info here. 

What more proof that art and science can be friends? 

According to the University of Sydney, science grads who are in tune with their creative side have been shown to better develop unique research methods, test hypotheses, interpret data and engage in debate. Which is reflected in next-gen course offerings, too – double degrees that offer a taste of everything and STEM courses that encourage students to choose out-of-the-box electives.

Head here for some seriously creative STEAM CVs. 


Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.


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